Shaun Ryder biopic announced, here’s who is playing the Happy Mondays frontman

Gregory Wakeman
Contributor
Shaun Ryder in the press room during the Q Awards 2018 in association with Absolute Radio at the Camden Roundhouse, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

A biopic of legendary Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder has been confirmed, with Skins actor Jack O’Connell portraying the singer and performer.

The film was announced at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, where its title was also revealed in the shape of Twisting My Melon, which are the opening lyrics from the band’s 1990 hit song Step On.

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In addition to O’Connell, it was also revealed that Jason Isaacs will play Shaun’s father Derek Ryder, Maine Peake will play his mother, while Holliday Grainger is also part of the cast as his girlfriend.

Twisting My Melon has been written by Matt Greenhalgh, who used the singer’s autobiography as its basis and will also make his directorial debut with the film, too. Greenhalgh, who has co-written Twisting My Melon with Andrew Knott and William Ash, previously wrote Nowhere Boy, which was based on the early life of John Lennon, and the Joy Division biopic Control.

Jack O'Connell at the 76 Venice International Film Festival 2019. Seberg photocall. Venice (Italy), August 30th, 2019 (photo by Marilla Sicilia/Archivio Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

In a statement Greenhalgh made it clear that his take on the formative years of Shaun Ryder and the Happy Mondays is a passion project long in the making.

“Shaun Ryder is the son of John Lennon, Johnny Rotten with a few kilos of John Belushi stamped in. He’s risen from the dead more times than anyone can remember, and his poetry will last forever.”

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“Shaun, and the last true working-class band – the Happy Mondays – mainlined into my musical DNA when I was sixteen years old. Like millions of others I readily boarded their ecstatic revolution. And thanks to AGC, I feel honoured to be able to author the only rock’n’roll movie I want to see”.

Production on Twisting My Melon is set to begin in January.